Fifteen years ago I was a 22 year old girl drowning in the dark sea of anxiety and depression. I was a girl struggling to find hope in a world that seemed hopeless. I was lost feeling as if I had no purpose. Thoughts of death teased at my mind day and night and while I was too afraid to allow those thoughts to grow I knew in my heart something had to die. After 13 years of suffering with severe anxiety a death did occur. In the cold winter of 2015 at a church in Sayville I died to myself and rose again in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was freed from the chains I carried around anchoring me to my sin; my sin of worry and fear, pride and also shame. I carried those burdens with me for too long and then at the most unsuspecting time, the creator of the heavens and earth removed the scales form my eyes and revealed Himself to me, once and for all setting me free.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Throughout my struggle I heard a whisper in my ear telling me that my struggle was going to be used for something good. My struggle would not be in vain. At the time I did not know the Lord, but as I look back it is so clear that it was the voice of God softly and gently comforting me, reassuring me that everything would be okay.
What I have found is that God has given each one of us gifts, all different and unique to who we are and through the burden of anxiety and deep suffering God would show me my gifts. It is up to us if we follow His lead and use those gifts. I once heard that we should find what breaks our heart, and then make a difference. One night as I pushed back and forth in a rocking chair and cradled my new born daughter, tears streamed down my face. As I sat and took in the smell of my new baby, my heart swelled with an overwhelming amount of love where I thought it might actually burst. I tried to comprehend the emotion I felt towards my baby girl and then I thought of all the babies who did not have a mommy to do the same thing and right then and there I knew for sure what broke my heart.
Nine years later my husband and I would become certified foster parents and take in our very first placement, a precious 5 month old baby girl. Five months later we would hand her back to her mother. My anxiety has made me strong, Jesus has made me stronger, but this, could I possibly bare the pain of handing this child back over to where she belonged? This, I can tell, is only the beginning of our journey. I have learned that life may bend me, but it will never break me, yet right now I feel broken.
An entire life packed into suitcases and bags. Will she know how much I loved her and how much I still love her and that I will love her for the rest of my life? Will she ever know how much we prayed for her? The late nights woken up by tears or hunger and the many prayers that went up to the Lord as I rocked with her in the same chair that I rocked with my oldest daughter in nine years earlier, where my heart broke; will she ever know all of that? Will she remember us and know that we will always be praying for her and cheering her through life?
My heart feels broken, but what comfort to know that my God will bring healing and peace. I thank Him for breaking my heart and for the five precious months we were given to breathe life, love and truth into this precious baby.